Tag Archives: Talladega

Worlds First 200 mph Race Lap – Dodge Charger Daytona

On Thursday I looked at a car driven by Jerry Grant the first man to lap an open wheeler at an average 200 mph during qualifying at Ontario Motor Speedway in 1972 and I was surprised to learn that Buddy Baker recorded the first 200 mph race lap, in today’s featured Grand National Dodge Charger Daytona two years earlier at Talladega.

Dodge Charger Daytona, Marin Sanoma Concours d'Elegance

After NASCAR leveled the playing field by allowing Ford to run four barrel carburetor’s against Dodges 2 barrel carburetor Hemi’s Chrysler hit back by introducing the limited edition Dodge Charger Daytona model in 1969 using a Charger body shell with an aerodynamic nose and high rear wing which aided traction to the rear driven wheels.

Dodge Charger Daytona, Marin Sanoma Concours d'Elegance

The 6980 cc / 426 cui Hemi V8 fitted a 2 barrel carburettor was good for over 475 hp. In 1969 Bobby Isaac won 20 poles and won 17 of 54 Grand National championship races in his Charger Daytona but poor reliability meant he only finished 6th in the championship won by David Pearson with ‘only’ 11 wins. The following year Isaac won the championship with only 11 wins with Richard Petty finishing the championship 4th driving a similar Plymouth Road Runner Superbird with 18 championship wins.

Dodge Charger Daytona, Marin Sanoma Concours d'Elegance

For the 1970 season Cotton Owens entered Buddy Baker in today’s featured Daytona, while leading 101 laps at Talladega Baker recorded the world first 200 mph average race lap speed before a spin forced retirement. Note that baker was not driving a #88 Daytona in the Alabama 500 when he achieved this feat as reported in some sources. Baker later drove this car to victory lane at Darlington where he beat the eventual 1970 Champion Bobby Isaac by an entire lap.

Dodge Charger Daytona, Marin Sanoma Concours d'Elegance

NASCAR took the decision to outlaw all of the “Winged Warriors” at the end of the 1970 which included the Charger Daytona, Plymouth Superbird, Fords Torino Talladega and Mercury Cyclone Spoiler II.

This car has never been restored, simply kept in immaculate condition during long loan spells Cobo Hall in Detroit and the Darlington Museum.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton who shared today’s photographs which were taken earlier this year at the Marin Sanoma Concours d’Elegance.

Thanks for joining me on this “Worlds First 200 mph Race Lap” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Niki’s Ford – Ford Capri RS 3100

With apologies to my Rowdy friends who will have read much of this before, I hope you will agree that there is good reason for reposting this blog today. The Ford Capri RS 3100 was the final 1974 racing evolution of the Mk1 Ford Capri that was launched in 1969. It is thought that four RS3100’s were built by the Ford Competitions department in Cologne, Germany.

Ford Capri RS3100, Goodwood FoS

The racing debut of the RS3100 appears to have been by the Harry Theodoracopoulos team in the the 1974 Atlanta Six Hours where Harry and team mate Horst Kwech qualified 32nd but are not recorded as finishing the race.

A week later Ford’s Cologne factory team entered two RS3100’s at the Nurburgring Eifelrennen in Germany, where one time German NASCAR racer, ‘dega 1971, Rolf Stommelen & Toine Hezemans scored a one, two in the German Touring car championship.

Ford Capri RS3100, Goodwood FoS

Power comes from a 440 hp Cosworth developed GAA quad cam 24 valve V6 motor, a similar type was also used in European Formula 5000 races with some success. To improve engine bat aerodynamics and weight distribution the radiators were mounted ahead of the rear wheels.

Despite it’s high state of tune the RS3100 was generally outclassed by the BMW CSL ‘Batmobiles’ much as it’s predecessors the Capri RS 2600 and Capri RS had been in 1973.

Ford Capri RS3100, Goodwood FoS

This vehicle appear’s painted up at Goodwood as the #3 Niki Lauda used at the two Norisring races on the 15th of September 1974 where he finished 6th and 20th.

Toine Hezemans was Lauda’s team mate that day in the #4 entry who in a symmetrical reversal of fortunes came in 16th in the first race and 2nd in the second race.

Ford Capri RS3100, Goodwood FoS

Not sure how Niki Lauda who was in the first year of a Ferrari contract was allowed to race for the work’s Ford team given that just a decade earlier Enzo Ferrari and Ford had spectacularly fallen out over a deal in which Ferrari was supposed to sell out to Ford. These days it is extremely rare for a contracted Formula One driver to be allowed to race in any other category.

Ford Capri RS3100, Goodwood FoS

The RS 3100 differed visibly from it smaller engined Capri RS 2600 and Capri RS brethren with the addition of this large Gurney flap on the back.

I hope you will join me in wishing one of my all time hero’s Niki Lauda a very Happy Birthday.

Thanks for joining me on the Birthday Boy edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’, I hope you will join me again tomorrow don’t forget to come back now !


The Tao of being a ‘Happy’ Fan !

Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet Impala SS, Talladega

Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet Impala SS, Talladega, April 2009.

I missed the first 3rd of the first round of the NASCAR chase at New Hampshire.

When I came in Happy was in ’13th going forward’ which sounded good. Soon after we had a round of pit stops and Happy was not so happy to find himself down in 16th or 17th place.

I usually love it when Happy gets mad with his pit crew but yesterday was different this was the chase where statistically you need a better than 6th place finish to be a contender.

As the expletives flowed like the rivers of Babylon, my mind was cast back to the down powered Jimmie Johnson sat patiently in his car at Texas while his crew rebuilt the car almost from scratch all around him, in the chase last year after the Sam Hornish Jr had all but wrecked Johnsons #48.

The chase is no place to loose ones cool for even the remotest of spectators like myself, I hope the #29 team can hang together this morning and have a laugh and a joke about it because as it happened it was probably just as well Kevin dropped back some after a fumbled pit stop when, I think, 10 or so Chasers were sitting in the top 12 spots at the time.

Thanks to a latter accident which took half a dozen chase competitors right out of the top 10 all together.

As it turned out Kevin in his less than top ten car pulled on through, thanks to a calming word from Mr Childress and wound up finishing behind just two other chase contenders in 5th safely inside the magic top 6 required of a chase contender in the first round !

Not bad for a car that was obviously not in the same league as his team mates and not bad for a guy who lost the plot for a couple of laps back there.

The right result for all the wrong reasons, ain’t that what JJ and the #48 have been good at capitalising on over the last 4 years ?

I hope for the sake of his crew Kevin learned something from yesterdays experience and stays calm when it all goes, Pete Tong, as it surely will at some point over the last nine races and simply hangs in there and brings home the cup Richard & Delana so richly deserve 🙂

On the subject of JJ I’d still say he is the man with a target on his back if anyone can come back from his poor chase start it has to be JJ.

If JJ does win is Dangerous Denny going to feel like he is owed 5 cups ?

ps Great to be back in Rowdy Chat again last night 🙂

Go Happy ! Go Harvick ! Go #29 !

Originally posted on Rowdy.com which seems to be experiencing a few technical difficulties, hence reposting here.

Thanks for joining me on this Tao edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !